What Drove the Historically Large Murder Spike in 2020?

The Oakland Police Department investigates a fatal shooting in the 1900 block of 84th Ave. in Oakland, Calif., October 14, 2020.
Law and Order in Trumpland

Amid the pandemic, lockdown orders, and nationwide protests against police violence, a historically large increase in murders occurred in 2020. Previously, the largest recorded one-year rise in murders in U.S. history was a 12.7 percent increase in 1968. Last year, meanwhile, data from nearly 12,000 law enforcement agencies released by the FBI, running through September, shows murders up 21 percent nationally. This matches data we collected from a sample of agencies from 60 large cities showing a 36 percent increase in murders in those cities, as well as a Council on Criminal Justice analysis from 34 cities finding a 30 percent increase in 2020 compared to 2019.

What Drove the Historically Large Murder Spike in 2020?

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